At risk: thousands of acres of pristine wilderness

Crater Lake is Oregon’s crown jewel — its deep blue waters and 2,000-foot rim walls attract half a million visitors each year. The surrounding mountains and forests are home to Roosevelt elk, black bears and bald eagles. The forests around Crater Lake also shelter the headwaters of the Rogue, Umpqua and Deschutes rivers, where Chinook and Coho salmon spawn. 

Logging companies are pushing to clear-cut old-growth forest right outside the boundaries of Crater Lake National Park — and the destruction could start before the end of the year. We're fighting to make sure the logging companies don't trample our pristine wilderness and cause irreparable harm to Crater Lake's delicate ecosystem.

On the table is a reckless proposal, the Bybee Timber Sale, which involves national forest land on the edge of Crater Lake National Park. In February 2013, Environment Oregon helped to collect and deliver more than 11,000 public comments in opposition of the Bybee Timber Sale. Environment Oregon stood with wildlife organizations and concerned citizens in Medford to deliver the public comments and over 100 photos and testimonials from Oregonians.

The reckless timber sale was approved by the National Forest Service in September, 2013 despite landmark public opposition. Environment Oregon opposes this future sale as it endangers the ecosystems and wildlife within the park.

A long-term plan to protect Crater Lake

At the same time, we're working to win permanent protection for 500,000 acres of wilderness, creating a 75-mile wildlife corridor of forests, mountains and streams. 

Fortunately, the laws to prevent a piece-by-piece clear-cut of Crater Lake's ecosystem are already in place — we just need to make sure they’re applied to Crater Lake’s surrounding forests. 

The federal Wilderness Act of 1964 protects the most critical habitats of America, like Crater Lake, from incursion by loggers, miners and developers.

As the authors of the Wilderness Act wrote back in 1964, these special places should be areas “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

So many of us have marveled at the beauty of Crater Lake. Now it’s up to us to defend the lake and the creatures who live nearby.  

In addition to protecting bald eagles, elk, black bear and salmon, designating the land as new wilderness would allow the park’s existing visitor facilities, like the Rim Road, the Crater Lake Lodge, and the Pacific Crest Trail, to remain undisturbed, ensuring easy and sustainable public access.

Together, we can win

We must act now to keep our natural heritage from being bulldozed. Right now, our citizen outreach staff is canvassing the state, educating Oregonians about the need to protect Crater Lake. Thousands of people like you have pitched in, calling or emailing your legislators, signing petitions, and spreading the word to friends and family.

We need everyone’s help to protect Crater Lake from logging, mining, and other destructive development. If you'd like to help us reach even more people and keep making the case for Crater Lake, click here to make a contribution today.

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